Last Chance Slide Clean-up Continues After Record Rain; Nighttime Closures Returning


Clean-up work on the slide. - CALTRANS
  • Caltrans
  • Clean-up work on the slide.
Caltrans reports the slide at Last Chance Grade that came down Tuesday amid record rains has been mostly cleared and the roadway should be open to normal two-way traffic by this afternoon.

According to the Eureka National Weather Service, Crescent City — located just north of the unstable 3-mile-long stretch of U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County — saw 3.82 inches of rain yesterday, breaking the area’s previous record of 3 inches set exactly 62 years earlier on Jan. 12, 1959.

Named after a landslide which struck when a wagon road was first cut across the soaring cliffside in 1894, Last Chance Grade has been slipping into the Pacific Ocean for decades.

From Jan. 17 to Jan. 23, the roadway will be closed at night (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) to allow Caltrans crews to perform work needed to bring up the existing grade as the long process to find a permanent solution to the problematic but vital artery connecting California’s northern reaches to the rest of the state.

“Emergency vehicles will be accommodated through the closure if necessary,” Caltrans states in a Facebook post. “Traffic will also be permitted through the closure at least once per evening if possible.”

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